Beyond the Headlines: The curious case of runaway ISIS brideBeyond the Headlines add
This week, The National spoke to Alistair Burt, the British Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa. The chance to speak to the top British official was timely.
Shemima Begum, who fled the UK when she was 15 to join ISIS, was found in a Syrian refugee camp recently. Four years later, she’s now pleading to return home with her new-born. But what does that mean for the UK as Shemima might be just one of many cases where former ISIS members plead to return to their countries.
In this episode of Beyond the Headlines, Minister Burt breaks down the situation with Shemima and her child. He also discusses the crisis in the Syrian Rukban camp, where 50,000 refugees have been cut off from aid and left to starve.
Beyond the Headlines podcast: How digital transformation will change the jobs we haveBeyond the Headlines add
The World Economic Forum says that the digital transformation of economies and businesses will displace 75 million jobs as the division of labour shifts between humans, machines and algorithms. However, 133 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to this technology-led future.
The Abu Dhabi School of Government has partnered with Coursera, one of the world’s leading online learning platforms, to provide professional training and development programmes for critical skills such as data science, artificial intelligence, leadership and digital transformation.
This week's host Mustafa Alrawi, The National's assistant editor in chief talks to Solveig Nicklos, the dean of the Abu Dhabi School of Government and Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera’s chief executive, about their initiative to support Abu Dhabi’s ambition of upskilling its governmental workforce, as well as fulfilling its potential as a knowledge economy.
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Beyond the Headlines: The Pope's visitBeyond the Headlines add
Pope Francis's visit to the UAE was the first time a Catholic pontiff stepped foot in the Arabian Peninsula.
During his Mass, he prayed for his devotees at Sports Zayed City Stadium and for everyone in the region.
On this episode of Beyond the Headlines, Naser Al Wasmi talks to those who attended the Mass and discusses how the visit impacts the region.
A week after Davos, did the WEF solve anything?Beyond the Headlines add
The richest and most powerful people met at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.
The range of topics was as wide spanning as the challenges the world faces today.
Although this year’s forum wasn’t as well attended as previous iterations of the prestigious event, it still gathers important leaders from around the world.
But, with so many pertinent issues, such as climate change, the gender gap and trade tensions looming on the world, is one week enough to solve the world’s most pertinent crises?
The UAE-Saudi Arabia co-operation plan, explainedBeyond the Headlines add
The UAE and Saudi Arabia are entering a new phase of co-operation.
The two countries announced a [seven-point co-operation plan](www.thenational.ae/uae/uae-and-saudi-arabia-unveil-seven-point-co-operation-plan-including-new-cryptocurrency-1.815401) this week on money management for children, natural crises emergency plans and, perhaps most interestingly, a joint cryptocurrency.
The move is the latest sign of strengthening ties between the two, and should open the door for easier business relations. It also strengthens the bond between the two countries as they look to face regional challenges in unity.
We explain the deal in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
The great Arab rivers are under threatBeyond the Headlines add
For thousands of years, the great Arab rivers sustained some of the world’s most important ancient civilizations.
The Nile River fuelled the development of 10 thousand years of Pharaonic rule. The Tigris and Euphrates, home of Mesopotamia, were witness to some of the most important developments to mankind, including agriculture and the written word. The rivers helped spread Islam during Prophet Mohammed’s conquests and sustained generations.
But today, whether through government policies or global warming, all three rivers are under threat.
As Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week looks for solutions to global problems, we assess the crises surrounding the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
[**Full report: How the great tides of history turned**](https://rivers.thenational.ae/)
Pompeo's timely tour of the Middle EastBeyond the Headlines add
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on an expansive tour of the Gulf and wider Middle East this week. His task is to clarify President Donald Trump's often-confusing interests in the region.
We discuss in this week's Beyond the Headlines.
Last month, President Trump tweeted that he would pull out of Syria within 30 days, sending shockwaves around not just the region, but in his own administration. Since then, the White House has said there is timetable on US withdrawal. The message keeps changing.
The National's Hashem Osserian explains how Pompeo's tour will influence the region going forward on Syria. We also ask Cinzia Bianco of Gulf State Analytics, about what else is on Pompeo's agenda.
In Central African Republic, poaching thrives in the chaosBeyond the Headlines add
In the middle of Africa lies one of the world's most neglected crises. In the Central African Republic — an environmentally diverse but politically fraught state — the illegal hunting of endangered species is rampant.
How did the country become such a hotbed for poaching, and is there hope to rectify the situation? We look at the issue in this week's Beyond the Headlines podcast.
Chinko is a wildlife refuge in the eastern part of CAR and one of the most uniquely diverse ecological landscapes in Africa. It's also home to communal violence and combative groups vying for control of some of the country's most valuable resources — illegal animal parts.
_The National's_ Campbell MacDiarmid speaks to experts and conservationists who explain the chaotic situation in CAR, and offer insights into how the country can start trying to resolve the issue.
Reasons for cheer from an often dour yearBeyond the Headlines add
The Middle East is not known for its good news, and 2018 was no exception. But in between the usual stories of war and political turmoil, The National's journalists found reasons for hope. We shine a light on the reasons for optimism in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
In Iraq, date farmers work toward a future where their country is a business hub. In the West Bank, Palestinians find inspiration in art and culture. In the UAE, cultures merge to celebrate music and heritage. These stories helped remind us that plenty of reason to celebrate, however dour the headlines might seem.
What more can we do to curb global warming?Beyond the Headlines add
The GCC has welcomed the rule book laid out as part of a COP24 deal struck in Poland, but scientists say the world is running out of time to avoid the catastrophic events brought about by unmitigated global warming. How can the region do more? Climate experts explain on this episode of Beyond the Headlines.
We hear from Dr Deepthi Mittal, a program leader of the World Wildlife Fund in the UAE. She has urged governments to heed the call by scientists warning that current commitments are not enough.
We also speak with Tanzeed Alam, managing director of Earth Matters Consultancy, who explains the challenges ahead for governments in the GCC as they look to break away from their fossil-fuel based economies.
Yemenis continue to suffer as warring sides negotiateBeyond the Headlines add
Millions are on the brink of famine in Yemen. But for the first time in two years, the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels are negotiating a resolution.
Last week, the UN Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, put forth a series of confidence-building measures. He says both sides need to adhere to a series of concessions to build any sort of chance at a settlement. So far, he’s succeeded in bringing both sides to agree on a prisoner exchange and made way for Houthi fighters injured in the war to fly to Oman for treatment.
But the number of lives saved on the ground will ultimately define the success of these talks and that means ensuring humanitarian aid gets to the millions of starving Yemenis.
We look at the process of peace in Yemen, and discuss the dire humanitarian crisis, in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
We hear from The National’s Mina Al Droubi, who is in Sweden reporting on the peace talks, and Jueliette Touma, the UNICEF Regional Chief of Communications in the Middle East and North Africa.
How Kuwait and Iraq were shaped by George H.W. BushBeyond the Headlines add
In August 1990 the Iraqi military invaded neighbouring Kuwait, bombing its capital city and sparking a war that would last six months and result in thousands of deaths. Not long after the invasion, late president George H W Bush spearheaded a US-led intervention against the Iraqi forces and the country’s dictator Saddam Hussein.
The death of the 41st US President on November 30th served to remind of Kuwait’s close relationship with the late president and the United States, as they paid tribute to the man who intervened against Iraq on their behalf.
But across the border, for Iraqi civilians scarred by the coalition’s violent bombing of their country, the image they paint of Bush is very different.
On this week’s episode of Beyond the Headlines, we discuss the lasting legacies of the Republican president in the region.
Land as a weapon against PalestiniansBeyond the Headlines add
Palestinian Adeeb Joudeh is a member of one of two families safeguarding the keys to Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and is a respected figure among all factions of the city. But recently, he has come under fire. Mr Joudeh allegedly sold his home to Jewish buyers – a mark of shame among Palestinians forced to contend with Israel’s occupying forces.
Real estate transactions are just one way Israelis are claiming even more land from Palestinians, but recently the Palestinian Authority has taken issue, as Wilson Fache reports from Jerusalem. He speaks to The National's Sofia Barbarani in this week's Beyond the Headlines podcast.
The collective fear of losing land to settlers dates back to at least 1948, when more than 700,000 Arabs were forcefully displaced, leading the way to the formation of Israel. Today, penalties and ostracization await Palestinians who sell land to Jewish buyers.
We discuss the use of real estate as a weapon of expansion in Israel and the Palestinian citizens who choose to — or are forced — to sell land and homes to Jewish settlers.
How UNICEF is helping children in the Middle East and North AfricaBeyond the Headlines add
Children in the Middle East face more challenges than almost anywhere else in the world. One in four children in the region are affected by poverty, and in 2017, more than 1,823 children were killed, up from 1,563 in 2016. Armed conflict, instability and the failure of governments to provide education are all factors that have driven 5.7 million children to be out of primary school and another 3.9 million out of secondary.
However, organisations like Unicef have maintained that they can help solve the problem through simple solutions. We discuss some of those solutions in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
This year, the UN organization spent more than half of its global humanitarian budget in this Middle East and North Africa. The situation is dire, but a lot can still be done.
Geert Cappalaere, Unicef's regional director, tells The National's Naser Al Wasmi what can be done to give the region's 29 million children brighter futures.
What shape will US-Middle East affairs take post-midterm elections?Beyond the Headlines add
US President Donald Trump’s Republican party can no longer claim complete control of a two-branch Congress, after his rival Democratic party last week won control of the House of Representatives. The Senate, however, is still controlled by the Republicans.
Newly empowered Democrats are expected to take Trump to task on many issues domestically, but to what extent will Trump's foreign policy be affected? Specifically, how might Trump's agenda in the Middle East change?
We ask an expert on US-Middle Eastern affairs that question and more in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
Danielle Pletka, the senior vice-president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, spoke with The National's Naser Al Wasmi, and explained the influence of a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives on Trump's Middle Eastern agenda. Will his tough stance on Iran strengthen or wane? Will new checks to his Republican party hinder the administration's goals for the region?
A tale of two prime ministers in Sri LankaBeyond the Headlines add
There's been political trouble in Sri Lanka over the past two weeks after President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.
It is not clear that the president had the authority to make such a decision though, and Mr Wickremesinghe has refused to vacate the prime minister's residence.
Which has left Sri Lanka in the unusual position of having two men claiming to be prime minister.
Lack of governance for migrants to be ratified by UN in MoroccoBeyond the Headlines add
More than 10 per cent of the world’s migrant population live in the GCC, making it the highest citizen-to-migrant region in the world. A look at the demographics of the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman shows that at least half of the population is non-citizen residents. In 2015, the Arab World as a whole hosted 32 million migrants, who sent home more than 100 billion dollars in remittances. However, despite their heavy presence not only in the Arab countries but around the world, international agreements on migration are practically non-existent.
Louise Arbour, the UN special representative for international migration, joins host Naser Al Wasmi to discuss the upcoming International Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Morrocco this December and how the compact will change migration in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
Taliban bombings in Afghanistan's electionBeyond the Headlines add
For the first time in ten years, Afghans took to the polling stations to elect candidates to National Assembly and take part in the future of their country. But a series of violent attacks have put a damper on the democratic turnout. Afghan security forces claimed more than 100 attacks took place in the week leading up to the elections and on the day, killing 23 and wounding hundreds. The Taliban claimed most of the attacks, including bombing the office of one of the candidates in the south of the country.
The events represent a political reality in strife. The Taliban, who along with other insurgent groups control vast swathes of the country, attempted to curtail the elections. The attacks, which included suicide bombings, could be responsible for the low turnout. Of the 9 million registered to vote in the country, around 4 million showed up. Nonetheless, after years of delays and months of negotiations, the country has voted for the first time in a decade.
On this episode, we're joined by Ruchi Kumar to answer two questions: what does this mean for the future of the country? And how will this affect the ongoing US negotiations with the Taliban over a potential peace deal?
Syria-Jordan border restoration opens up many opportunitiesBeyond the Headlines add
This week, Jordan and Syria opened their border for the first time in three years. The move promises to restore the possibility for movement of both goods and people between the two countries.
Jordan plays host to a large number of Syrian refugees and migrants, many of whom fled the carnage when the war broke out 7 years ago. Others have worked for decades between the two borders, trading produce, medicine and other goods.
What does the border opening mean for both Syria and Jordan politically? How will this change the fate of the 1.4 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, and is this the first step towards the international Syrian diaspora returning home?
We discuss these questions and more with Jordan-based journalist Taylor Luck in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
Scientists warn: Act now on climate change or it will be too lateBeyond the Headlines add
The world’s leading climate change scientists warned governments to act on climate change today or face a catastrophic future. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is seen as the final warning. It says that if governments fail to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees by 2050, the world will witness significantly more violent drought, floods and extreme heat.
And the Middle East is especially at risk. So are the UAE and other regional leaders doing their part?
Tanzeed Alam, Managing Director of Earth Matters Consultancy, joins host Naser Al Wasmi to break down the report and assess what needs to be done in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say that governments must act now, and that time is running out. We look to find out how the Middle East will change under global warming, and what steps we can take now.